Real Footy podcast: ‘Mergers will come back onto the table’

"The game won't go back to normal after this."

The fallout from the AFL shutdown continues, with the league and its players at odds over the pay cut the players should be taking, while coaches are offering to go without pay and the AFL is seeking a loan in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

In this episode of the Real Footy Podcast, Caroline Wilson, Jake Niall and Michael Gleeson discuss the long-term impacts of the shutdown on the game, including the fact that club mergers are back on the table. Is this how the number of clubs in Victoria get reduced?

Also up for discussion is the "player bubble", the "AFL bubble" and how important it is for the AFL executive and the players to take more significant pay cuts – and quickly. The AFL is "really angry" with players, who are not coming across well in their request for "clarity" before taking a longer-term cut.

What does the future hold for AFLW? Which clubs should we be most concerned about? And has the soft cap saved footy?

Plus, a look back at the round that was, which might be the only footy we get for months. We learnt just how important a crowd is to a game, but that's no excuse for some of the teams who were jumped early by their opposition, including the "bitterly disappointing" Bulldogs. Which teams were a cut above the rest? And when the season resumes – if it resumes – can we do it behind closed doors?

Footy might be on hold, but this podcast is not. Make sure you subscribe wherever you get your podcasts to get every episode as it drops.

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